Notes on Author

Henry Lawson

HENRY LAWSON was born near Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia on 17 June 1867. Although he has since become the most acclaimed Australian writer, in his own lifetime his writing was often “on the side”—his “real” work was whatever he could find, often painting houses, or doing rough carpentry. His writing was often taken from memories of his childhood, especially at Pipeclay/Eurunderee. In his autobiography, he states that many of his characters were taken from the better class of diggers and bushmen he knew there. His experiences at this time deeply influenced his work, for it is interesting to note a number of descriptions and phrases that are identical in his autobiography and in his stories and poems. He died in Sydney, 2 September 1922. Much of his writing was for periodicals, and even his regular publications were so varied, including books originally released as one volume being reprinted as two, and vice versa, that the multitude of permutations cannot be listed here. However, the following should give a basic outline of his major works.

Books of Short Stories:
While the Billy Boils (1896)
On the Track (1900)
Over the Sliprails (1900)
The Country I Come From (1901)
Joe Wilson and His Mates (1901)
Children of the Bush (1902)
Send Round the Hat (1907)
The Romance of the Swag (1907)
The Rising of the Court (1910)


“On the Track” and “Over the Sliprails” were both published at Sydney in 1900, the prefaces being dated March and June respectively—and so, though printed separately, a combined edition was printed the same year (the two separate, complete works were simply put together in one binding); hence they are sometimes referred to as “On the Track and Over the Sliprails”. The opposite occurred with “Joe Wilson and His Mates”, which was later divided into “Joe Wilson” and “Joe Wilson’s Mates” (1901).

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